• The Ohio State University, Moritz College of LawJ.D. 
  • Miami University, B.S., Finance


  • Supreme Court of Ohio 
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio 
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio 
  • Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals 


Jessica K. Philemond

Jessica almost certainly has a question for you.   Her inquisitive nature makes her a formidable litigator and talented investigator with a command of her cases and an ability to provide thoughtful advice to her clients.  Focusing her practice on representing school districts and their employees throughout Ohio, Jessica is valued for her steadfast advocacy, extensive litigation experience and ability to skillfully communicate with clients, employees, parents, students, opposing counsel and the community. 

 Having defended over one-hundred school districts, Jessica has won jury trials in both state and federal court and has prevailed in many cases prior to trial.  She has successfully defended clients in lawsuits involving employee and student discrimination and civil rights cases; constitutional claims, including equal protection; Section 1983 claims; retaliation claims; sexual harassment and Title IX claims; teacher termination and employee discharge cases; and student discipline.  Jessica also provides day to day counsel to boards of education and their administrators on various student, employment, and board operations issues.  Jessica regularly provides high-level training and “train the trainer” workshops for threat-assessment (a tested process designed to locate students on the path to violence and intervene), Title IX and the requirements of District Title IX Coordinators, conducting investigations, and others.

Primary Focus & Experience

  • Education General Counsel:  Provides comprehensive advice and counsel to boards of education throughout the state of Ohio, including advising on public records, open meetings and board policy and governance issues, ethics and contracting advice, contract drafting and interpretation, community and media relations, litigation preparation and avoidance.  
  • Collective Bargaining:  Negotiates labor contracts on behalf of boards of education with teaching and nonteaching unions.  Represents boards in mediation, arbitration, fact-finding and proceedings before the State Employment Relations Board.   
  • Employment Law:  Defends boards of education in complaints before the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other state agencies; represents clients in all aspects of employment law, from managing internal complaints and investigations, day to day human resources issues, and complex litigation.   
  • School Business Operations:  Provides proactive advice, review, drafting and negotiations regarding vendor contracts and strategic partnerships, risk assessment and management, and advice regarding financial issues.    
  • Investigations:  Provides guidance to administrators conducting investigations or directly assists with investigations into student and staff issues.   
  • Litigation:  Represents boards of education through all phases of litigation, including employee and student discrimination and civil rights cases; constitutional claims, including equal protection; Section 1983 claims; retaliation claims; sexual harassment and Title IX claims; teacher termination and employee discharge cases; and student discipline and special education claims.   
  • Student Matters:  Provides guidance and advice on various student matters, including bullying, parent complaints, student discipline, equity and diversity issues, and student records and privacy concerns.

Awards & Recognition

  • Certified Title IX Coordinator by the Association for Title IX Administrators (ATIXA)  
  • Trained in Student Threat Assessment by the previous Chief Research Psychologist for the U.S. Secret Service and Co-Director of the Safe School Initiative, the landmark federal study of school shootings conducted by the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education 
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star (2012, 2014-2015, 2017-2018) (top 2% of Ohio lawyers age 40 and under) 
  • Columbus Bar Association, Barrister Leader Program Graduate 

Presentations & Publications

Jessica frequently presents for clients and organizations on the following topics: 

  • Conducting investigations 
  • Litigation avoidance  
  • Cultural competency  
  • Title IX 

Professional Associations & Community Involvement

  • Ohio Council of School Board Attorneys, Member 
  • Ohio Council of School Board Attorneys Labor Relations Roundtable, Member 
  • Ohio State Bar Association, Member 
  • Dublin Community Church, Council Member 

You Might Not Know

Jessica loves big band jazz, having grown up watching her father play trombone with the 18-piece Swing Time big band in Cleveland.  Jessica still has her drum set and finds time to play every now and then. 

“My practice uniquely puts me in a position to assist Ohio schools in their continuing efforts to improve the safety and social-emotional wellbeing of children. Every day I am thankful for that.”